2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Fu Manchu
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:43 pm

Re: 2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Post by Fu Manchu » Tue Mar 22, 2022 7:08 pm

player wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 6:01 pm
Hi all,

I lurked a bit this forum in the last 2-3 weeks waiting for the results and would like to thank the creators. I didn’t win the grant (3,8/3,8/4,4). I applied for first time and very likely I will not retry, as this year is busier for me. I worked on the proposal quite seriously between mid-May to mid-June and from very late August to the deadline and received decent feedback from my host; I know that many people devote much more time and having seen my proposal with clear eyes after the deadline, I knew that there were some flaws, was not very optimistic about the outcome and not very frustrated now. I’m writing only to share a few thoughts on the evaluation process – I see many colleagues frustrated from that especially about receiving a worse note after resubmission and regardless of their effort to use the feedback. I have some experience on decision processes (not only in research) and tried to understand the EC process. I feel that we have (at least) the following issues here:

1)The proposals must be evaluated quickly; reviewers must complete the task in a few weeks. They devote little time to each proposal and must decide about the grade in a short meeting. There is no further monitoring of the meeting’s decision. When people do things quickly and feel that there is no strict control on their decisions, superficiality can gain ground. In my case, the evaluation was not rushed (I felt that they read the proposal quite carefully), but since so many people complain about sloppy reviews, this seems to be an issue.

2)The proposals are not necessarily evaluated by direct experts in each field, but from people working in the same area more broadly. This is not an easy task. Therefore, participants are advised to write simply. However, research often deals with complicated ideas that cannot be easily analyzed in a very simple way nor can be smoothly understood by someone without a strong command in a particular subfield. This likely gives an advantage to people working on catchy topics (which attract the attention of outsiders) and to those working in more established disciplines (although interdisciplinarity is a target in theory). It is hard to expect a high-quality review on an interdisciplinary idea by experts combining a strong command on all its areas in a short time. These people are hard to be found and often are established scientists who will not evaluate MSCA proposals.

3) Resubmissions do not go to the reviewers who commented on the rejected version but to new reviewers. New people will have different interests/ methodological preferences and so on and no access (as far as I have understood at least) to the rejected version and feedback. Even if they had such access, to compare two drafts and evaluate changes (even more without a point-to-point response) is a very time-consuming task. The problem is obvious, but I don't see how the proposals can be evaluated by the same people given that the pool of reviewers changes from year to year and without introducing a stage of response by the applicant/evaluation of response which would delay a lot the whole process.

I feel that the main problem is the huge size of the task itself: the evaluation of about 9,000 proposals within a few months. I could think on various ways to improve the process (further monitoring of the panels’ decisions; evaluation of each proposal by experts working especially in this area; introduction of a response process for resubmissions), but all these options require even more time and I don’t know how many participants would be happy to wait much more than now for the consideration of their application. In sum, it is obvious that the process has big problems, but is tough for me to imagine a more reliable alternative which would not cost much more time.

Just a few thoughts – best wishes to all of you and congrats to those who won.
Thanks for sharing.

However, I think there are more feasible solutions to the third aspect.

1- Write a specific section that deal with last year's comments in the proposal - it can be a summary of what was changed and where these changes are.

2- The reviewers should read the former evaluation reports. It takes 10-15 minutes to read one at most.

3- Give more time to the evaluators. We all received the results in March and nobody died because of it. It happened because of the delay - deadline was only in October and usually it is on September. Why not make the deadline in September and the results in March?

These are all small changes that can help the reviewers and the evaluation itself.

sa6shah
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2022 8:02 am

Re: 2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Post by sa6shah » Tue Mar 22, 2022 8:20 pm

argy20 wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 1:18 pm
sa6shah wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 10:09 am
argy20 wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 9:36 am


Unfortunately not yet. But I provided my proposal number and title to the local NCP (in Greece) and he confirmed that I am funded. I guess I will ask him when we are expected to receive a grant agreement form. There was already an issue with Greece's involvement in ERA, as it was our first year in the scheme. Perhaps that is why there's this issue. Are you in Greece as well?
Thanks Argy. I will also inform my NCP to check this matter.
I'm from Iran - wants to move to Poland
I see. Lots of different variables then. Congrats.
Argy
I think something is happening concerning ERA
I can see my proposal resubmitted
and assigned with a new ID

HQA_2022
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2022 4:12 pm

Re: 2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Post by HQA_2022 » Tue Mar 22, 2022 10:17 pm

I got it with a 99.6% score!

GF PHY. My status changed to ranking before March 1st at 3.00 pm.

Please, anyone can post again the excel document to add my result to it?

For anyone it could be helpful for the next call:

In the previous call, my proposal scored 78%. For this call, I covered every weak point in the evaluation document from last year. I reorganized the Excellence part trying to reduce the introduction and clarify every single aspect of my research plan. I focused on getting to the point in the first page without losing clarity. I also added quantitative details to my proposal. I wrote a program for simulating certain aspects of my project trying to put in numbers the improvements it offers. Also, I wrote again the whole part dedicated to the transfer of knowledge from me to both host institutions. It is important to build a solid transfer plan with concrete skills. Any soft and generic sentence is going to undermine your exposition.

In the second part of the proposal, I did not change a bit since it had a perfect score last year. I simply reorganized it to fit with the new layout for this section. In the work plan (Gantt chart) I lowered the expectations since my proposal was criticized because I was expecting too many publications. Also, I strengthened the mitigation plan since it was the weakest point last year.

gkfighting
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2022 9:17 am

Re: 2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Post by gkfighting » Wed Mar 23, 2022 5:13 am

argy20 wrote:
Mon Mar 21, 2022 4:24 pm
Just to update everyone and thank you for all the information being shared here. Really helped go through this.

I got an evaluation only email this morning at 6:45 am. When accessing the portal there was also a document stating I was on the reserve list. There was also a letter there that confirmed I have received the funding as part of the ERA scheme.

My score was 92.8 in EF-ENG and am the cutoff for the ERA scheme in my panel as communicated to me through local NCP.
Hi Angy, we are in the same section. I got 91 this year. I'm still in the reserve list. I'm not sure whether I can make it this year and how many people ahead of me.

Congrats to you hard work. Cheers!

lucaJ
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2022 1:44 pm

Re: 2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Post by lucaJ » Wed Mar 23, 2022 9:28 am

HQA_2022 wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 10:17 pm
I got it with a 99.6% score!

GF PHY. My status changed to ranking before March 1st at 3.00 pm.

Please, anyone can post again the excel document to add my result to it?

For anyone it could be helpful for the next call:

In the previous call, my proposal scored 78%. For this call, I covered every weak point in the evaluation document from last year. I reorganized the Excellence part trying to reduce the introduction and clarify every single aspect of my research plan. I focused on getting to the point in the first page without losing clarity. I also added quantitative details to my proposal. I wrote a program for simulating certain aspects of my project trying to put in numbers the improvements it offers. Also, I wrote again the whole part dedicated to the transfer of knowledge from me to both host institutions. It is important to build a solid transfer plan with concrete skills. Any soft and generic sentence is going to undermine your exposition.

In the second part of the proposal, I did not change a bit since it had a perfect score last year. I simply reorganized it to fit with the new layout for this section. In the work plan (Gantt chart) I lowered the expectations since my proposal was criticized because I was expecting too many publications. Also, I strengthened the mitigation plan since it was the weakest point last year.
Thanks for sharing this nice success story!
I applied for the first time this year in GF-PHY and got 86%. Mainly criticized for lack of details in the secondment activity and not enough complementarity between the 2 institutions for transfer of knowledge. The project per se was actually very much appreciated.
I didn't know one had actually to cover transfer of knowledge from the ER to also the 3rd country institution (but only the reverse)..
Anyhow I think I'll try to reapply, and it gives a lot of hope to hear that in a re-application one can have such a tremendous improvement!

Best wishes for your project and congratulations!

Morgan92
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2022 11:17 am

Re: 2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Post by Morgan92 » Wed Mar 23, 2022 11:45 am

gkfighting wrote:
Wed Mar 23, 2022 5:13 am
argy20 wrote:
Mon Mar 21, 2022 4:24 pm
Just to update everyone and thank you for all the information being shared here. Really helped go through this.

I got an evaluation only email this morning at 6:45 am. When accessing the portal there was also a document stating I was on the reserve list. There was also a letter there that confirmed I have received the funding as part of the ERA scheme.

My score was 92.8 in EF-ENG and am the cutoff for the ERA scheme in my panel as communicated to me through local NCP.
Hi Angy, we are in the same section. I got 91 this year. I'm still in the reserve list. I'm not sure whether I can make it this year and how many people ahead of me.

Congrats to you hard work. Cheers!
Hi gkfighting

My score is 92.8 in EF-ENG on the reserve list. Don't know how many people in front of me.

argy20
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2022 11:05 am

Re: 2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Post by argy20 » Wed Mar 23, 2022 12:22 pm

sa6shah wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 8:20 pm
argy20 wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 1:18 pm
sa6shah wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 10:09 am


Thanks Argy. I will also inform my NCP to check this matter.
I'm from Iran - wants to move to Poland
I see. Lots of different variables then. Congrats.
Argy
I think something is happening concerning ERA
I can see my proposal resubmitted
and assigned with a new ID
Hi Sa6shah,

Also in my case. Now as part of HORIZON-WIDERA-2022-TALENTS-02 instead of HORIZON-MSCA-2021-PF-01. But the proposal looks to be blank. No documents or costing are sorted yet.

Greek NCP confirmed that he has no idea how this will play out as this is the first year Greece is in the widening scheme. In your case your NCP would surely know the process if you contact him.

Let's see!

roro
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2022 3:06 pm

Re: 2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Post by roro » Wed Mar 23, 2022 12:25 pm

Morgan92 wrote:
Wed Mar 23, 2022 11:45 am
Hi gkfighting

My score is 92.8 in EF-ENG on the reserve list. Don't know how many people in front of me.
Since the cut off seems to be exactly that, then you should be some of the first.

argy20
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2022 11:05 am

Re: 2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Post by argy20 » Wed Mar 23, 2022 12:28 pm

gkfighting wrote:
Wed Mar 23, 2022 5:13 am
argy20 wrote:
Mon Mar 21, 2022 4:24 pm
Just to update everyone and thank you for all the information being shared here. Really helped go through this.

I got an evaluation only email this morning at 6:45 am. When accessing the portal there was also a document stating I was on the reserve list. There was also a letter there that confirmed I have received the funding as part of the ERA scheme.

My score was 92.8 in EF-ENG and am the cutoff for the ERA scheme in my panel as communicated to me through local NCP.
Hi Angy, we are in the same section. I got 91 this year. I'm still in the reserve list. I'm not sure whether I can make it this year and how many people ahead of me.

Congrats to you hard work. Cheers!
Hi gkfighting,

Just to let you know. As I also mentioned to Morgan that I believe the cut-off for the regural call was higher than 92.8. I think this cut-off is only for ERA eligible people. I'm not entirely sure though you better contact your NCP. Greek one replied fast and in detail. There's a also a reserve list thread. Could check it out.

Morgan92
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2022 11:17 am

Re: 2021 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (HE-MSCA-PF-2021)

Post by Morgan92 » Wed Mar 23, 2022 12:56 pm

roro wrote:
Wed Mar 23, 2022 12:25 pm
Morgan92 wrote:
Wed Mar 23, 2022 11:45 am
Hi gkfighting

My score is 92.8 in EF-ENG on the reserve list. Don't know how many people in front of me.
Since the cut off seems to be exactly that, then you should be some of the first.
If Argy's guess is right that 92.8 is only the cut-off for ERA proposals, then we all have few chances.

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